Eight chickpea cultivars (Shendi, Jabel Marra, Wad Hamid, Atmor, Hwata, Burgeig, Salwa and Matama) were evaluated for genetic variability, yield stability and contribution of yield attributes to seed yield. Field experiments were carried out for four seasons (2007/2008, 2009/2010, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012) at Hudeiba Research Farm in River Nile State, Sudan. Randomized complete block design with six replications was used. Most of the studied traits recorded highly significant difference (P≤ 0.01) due to cultivars, seasons and their interaction. High heritability and low level of differences among phenotypic coefficient of variation (PCV) and genotypic coefficient of variation (GCV) for studied traits indicated that cultivars influenced more in the expression of these traits. Based on the stability analysis for seed yield; the top yielding cultivars Burgeig and Hwata were adapted to favorable conditions. Both cultivars were late in flowering and maturity and had high number of seeds plant-1, biomass and harvest index. The cultivar Atmor with an intermediate seed yield was the most stable cultivar across seasons. The cultivar Salwa is optional due to its relatively high yield and large seed size. Combining farmer-preferred traits such as high and stable yield, large seed size, plant type and maturity into new cultivars will remain the main objective of the chickpea breeding program in Sudan.
Key words: Chickpea cultivars, genetic variability, yield stability, Sudan.